Moore Stephens is one of the world's major accounting and consulting networks with 299 independent firms and 624 offices in 101 countries. Faced with the mounting challenge, due to legislation, of storing hundreds of lever arch files that could sit on shelves for up to ten years, Moore Stephens Stoke-on-Trent took the decision in 2012 to eradicate paper files and to implement the Virtual Cabinet electronic document management system developed by Lindenhouse Software.
Virtual Cabinet has allowed the firm to get rid of 99% of its filing cabinets, which has freed up so much space that eventually, it will be possible to merge the two separate office units into one. “This is set to give us savings in relation to rent, utility bills etc,” says Tracey Hammond, Office Manager.
Moore Stephens has two distinct areas of operation with a compliance business and an insolvency arm. The nature of the insolvency business means that there can be hundreds of ongoing cases at any one time and the files associated with each case need to be readily accessible. Converting to electronic document management has proved extremely useful as searches for documents are now completed much quicker than looking through several paper files. “The Lindenhouse implementation team picked up on the fact that the filing structure in the insolvency department is complicated and tailored it very much to us. We cannot now imagine being without it. Document flow is much quicker,” continues Tracey.
The firm is also finding that its off-site storage costs are reducing steadily. As boxes are returned from storage, where possible, the files are back-scanned onto Virtual Cabinet and there is no need to return them. A temporary member of staff has been brought in especially for six months, whose job it is to back scan and index each file. By June of 2014, Tracey predicts that the back scanning project will be complete. “We now send very little to offsite storage,” Tracey adds.
The next stage is to implement the Virtual Cabinet Document Portal in the tax and audit departments to provide greater security and reduce the risk of claims from clients if their information falls into the wrong hands. Even though the firm encrypts client tax and payroll emails, all member firms in the network are aware that additional security measures are required. Clients will be able to access and view documents published to them via the Portal and will be able to approve, change the status of, and respond, to documents allowing digital/electronic signatures to provide a seamless end-to-end sign off process. “ “We see it as risk management on a daily basis and it is essential that we do everything we can to protect client information,” explains Tracey.
“As an office we have fully embraced Virtual Cabinet.”
Combining in-depth expertise with innovative document management technology, Lindenhouse Software (www.lindenhouse.co.uk) is one of the UK’s leading developers of electronic document management software for industry and commerce. The company has a particular speciality for providing seamless integrated solutions that save time and money for professional firms, including Accountants, Insurance brokers and Financial Advisors.
Their Virtual Cabinet solution (www.virtualcabinet.co.uk) combines industry strength document management with secure client communication and the electronic sign-off of documents through an integrated portal. This innovation represents a major step forward in the professional markets served by Lindenhouse.